Summertime chefs: Easy recipes for kids to try

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

"It is important to involve kids in the kitchen because it allows them to take ownership in meal preparation," said Kate Micucci, registered dietitian at the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children's Hospital. "Cooking with healthy ingredients, such as fruits and vegetables, teaches them that healthy foods can add a lot of flavor to everyday snacks and meals."

Here are some simple, healthy and kid-friendly recipes that kids can make on their own and don't involve the use of any

dangerous cooking tools.

Ingredients:

2 c. plain yogurt

1/2 c. canned crushed pineapple (packed in 100 percent fruit juice)

1 can frozen 100 percent pineapple or orange-pineapple juice concentrate, thawed

Utensils:

medium-sized bowl

mixing spoon

small paper cups

plastic wrap

wooden Popsicle sticks

measuring cups

Directions:

1. Drain the can of crushed pineapple so all the juice runs out.

2. Put all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix them together.

3. Spoon the mixture into the paper cups. Fill them almost to the top.

4. Stretch a small piece of plastic wrap across the top of each cup.

5. Using the Popsicle stick, poke a hole in the plastic wrap. Stand the stick straight up in the center of the cup.

6. Put the cups in the freezer until the mixture is frozen solid.

7. Remove the plastic wrap and peel away the paper cup. You'll have pineapple pops to eat and share!

Ingredients:

1 6 1/2" whole-wheat pita (cut in half to make 2 pockets)

1/4 c. of pizza sauce

1/2 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

2 oz. turkey pepperoni or 2 slices of Canadian bacon

Utensils:

1 tbsp. measuring spoon

1/4 c. measuring cup

spoon for scooping and spreading sauce

1 microwave-safe plate

Directions:

1. Place each pita half (2 pockets) on a microwave-safe plate.

2. Spoon 2 tbsp. pizza sauce into each half and spread around with spoon.

3. Add slices of pepperoni or Canadian bacon.

4. Measure 1/4 cup of cheese and sprinkle into 1 pocket. Repeat for other pocket.

5. Lay pocket flat on plate and place in microwave for about 30 seconds. Check to see if cheese is melted. If not, try another 15 seconds and recheck. You don't want it to be too hot or it may burn your tongue.

6. Remove and enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 c. unsweetened cereal of your choice

2 tbsp. (or one miniature box) raisins

2 tbsp. dry roasted unsalted peanuts or other favorite nut

Utensils:

1 tbsp. measuring spoon

1-cup measuring cup

1 sandwich-size plastic baggie

Directions:

1. Pour cereal into plastic baggie.

2. Add raisins and peanuts, other nuts, or seeds.

3. Zip the bag closed and shake, shake, shake until well mixed.

4. Munch and enjoy!

Nutritional experts from Nationwide Children's Hospital provided the information for this column.